JOE HART has been praised by Ange Postecoglou for solving Celtic’s No.1 problem.
The 34-year-old former England international keeper arrived at the Hoops only 17 days ago, but has already played in five successive victories.
And Hart, who agreed a three-year contract after his £1million switch from Spurs, made two first-class saves at crucial stages of the 2-0 Europa League first leg play-off final against AZ Alkmaar to set up an intriguing return match in the Netherlands a week tonight.
Last season, the Parkhead men could not find a consistent netminder after £4.5million Greek international Vaslis Barkas flopped and stand-ins Scott Bain and Conor Hazard failed to prove on a consistent basis they were the men for the task.
MYSTERY SOLVED…Ange Postecoglou explained why Leigh Griffiths was missing from his Euro squad.
Postecoglou said: “Joe Hart is improving every game, he’s a guy who came in very late and he was one of a number we’ve just thrown in, but he’s obviously an experienced guy and knows how to handle himself.
“It gives the rest of the team confidence knowing he’s in goal.”
The Greek-Australian also cleared up the mystery of Leigh Griffiths’ absence from the bench against the Dutch.
The 30-year-old frontman is still waiting to make a competitive appearance this term and was among the subs for the 3-2 League Cup victory over Hearts on Sunday.
However, there was no show in the squad last night and Postecoglou, speaking to the Daily Record, added: “We just felt he needed another training session, he was working hard back at Lennoxtown today with a few others and there’s nothing too sinister there.”